Feb. 12 (UPI) -- The death of Pakistani Taliban deputy leader Khalid Mehsud in a U.S. drone strike last week was confirmed Monday by a Taliban spokesman.
Mehsud was a commander in the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, the Taliban's main faction. He is believed to be the mastermind of a 2011 attack on a naval base in Karaxhi, as well as a 2012 jailbreak in Bannu.
The spokesman said Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah immediately replaced Mehsud with another commander, Mufti Noor Wali.
The TTP has recently curtailed activities because of a successful Pakistani military offensive, and Mehsud's death is expected to further weaken the Islamist group.
Many TTP militants have sought refuge in Afghanistan.